BGT champ Jai McDowall addresses Simon Cowell feud after secret off-camera chat

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Britain's Got Talent champ Jai McDowall has insisted his past feud with Simon Cowell is "water under the bridge", after the pair had an emotional backstage reunion.

The Scottish singer revealed he was fighting back tears when he finally reunited with the music mogul off stage at Britain's Got Talent: The Champions in 2019.

Jai won the 2011 series of the ITV talent show, which earned him a £100,000 cash prize and a slot at the Royal Variety Performance.

He then signed to Simon's global record label Syco Music and released his debut album Believe before being dropped from the record giant a year later.

Simon initially said he had been "disappointed" with Jai's progress and added: "He wasn't one of our best ones."

Jai later hit back at the BGT boss by branding him "anti-Scottish" after another Scottish star was ejected from the show.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Star, Jai revealed he has patched things up with Simon and had to fight back tears when he reunited with the judge in 2019.

He buried the hatchet with Simon when he starred on BGT: The Champions in 2019, which saw past champs like Jai dazzle the judges once more after winning the show.

He also left fans swooning with his hunky transformation on the legends show, which peaked the interest of his pals.

Asked if it was all water under the bridge, Jai said: "Now, thankfully it is. It was one of those things years ago where I was doing interviews for the Daily Record, I think.

"The last Scottish person had been put out the competition so there was a lot of things said. I was asked if he was anti-Scottish and I was like ‘Yeah, sounds like it. Haha.’

The Scots singer then defended Simon as he explained how much he'd done for himself and fellow Scottish BGT star Susan Boyle.

Jai also admitted the BGT boss gave him more opportunities than he should have been afforded, such as an album deal and a tour.

He said: "I got the album deal and I got a tour, and I got certain things out of it that I wasn’t supposed to, and I always say to people that I got a lot more than I should have. He didn’t do me that wrong."

Jai later recalled the emotional moment he caught up with Simon at Champions, which left him fighting back tears.

Jai said: "At Champions, him and I spoke. It was nice of him to publicly apologise, but we spoke after the show and I was like, ‘Look, everything that happened. It was just a misunderstanding.”

"He was like ‘Oh no, I get it. Don’t worry about it. It’s all fixed'.”

"I was like ‘this is lovely’ and I was like ‘don’t cry, don’t cry!’ But it was nice because for me, it felt like one of those things that I always wanted to say."

Jai went on to insist he's always been grateful for Britain's Got Talent, which he hailed as a "blessing" in his life.

He said: "I’ve always been grateful for Britain’s Got Talent. I wouldn’t be doing the job I’m doing if it wasn’t for the show. It’s always been a blessing in my life, but that made it seem like I was really ungrateful and I was like ‘no, this is not the case’."

Since leaving the show, Jai's kept himself busy with a handful of projects, such as touring the UK with his star-studded theatre show Les Musicals with G4 frontman Jonathan Ansell.

The kind-hearted star also returned to care work during the lockdown, which saw him look after a family in need, and he still keeps in touch with them to this day.

He's hitting the road with the tour in May and June, and it's clear he loves being a part of it, despite admitting the taxing songs are quite the vocal workout.

Jai said: "It's a nice tour to be a part of, actually, because we got on so well, and the fans love that kind of banter between us both. Off stage and on. It's an easy tour to be a part of, because it's a laugh most of the time!"

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He also dished on what it was like to work with Kerry Katona on an adult-only pantomime called Throbbin Hood last year.

On Kerry, Jai said: "It was great, absolutely great. She was so good to work with. She knew all her lines, she knew all her stuff and she was just funny to be around."

Jai admitted him and Kerry struggled not to laugh at the racy jokes in the innuendo-filled adult panto, which he said had "no line".

To catch him on his UK theatre tour with Les Musicals, you can visit the website here.

Jai released his latest single, a cover of All of Me by John Legend, last summer.

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  • Britains Got Talent
  • Simon Cowell
  • Exclusives

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